Friday, February 25, 2011

Authors By The Alphabet March Book Choice

The Persian Pickle Club

The Persian Pickle Club
By Sandra Dallas
196 pgs.
St. Martins Press

Amazon Blurb -

This entertaining second novel from the author of the well-received Buster Midnight's Cafe could be a sleeper. Set in Depression-era Kansas and made vivid with the narrator's humorous down-home voice, it's a story of loyalty and friendship in a women's quilting circle. Young farm wife Queenie Bean tells about the brief membership of a city girl named Rita, whose boredom with country living and aspirations to be an investigative reporter lead her to unearth secrets in the close-knit group, called the Persian Pickle Club after a coveted paisley print. Queenie's desire to win Rita's friendship ("We were chickens... and Rita was a hummingbird") clashes with her loyalty to the Pickles when Rita tries to solve the murder of a member's husband, in the process unearthing complicated relationships among the women who meet each week to quilt and read aloud to each other. The result is a simple but endearing story that depicts small-town eccentricities with affection and adds dazzle with some late-breaking surprises. Dallas hits all the right notes, combining an authentic look at the social fabric of Depression-era life with a homespun suspense story.

Thank you Julie for this months choice!  I'm looking forward to reading it, and we'll check back the 3rd or 4th Thursday or Friday of the month for the ?'s!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls: A Novel

Shanghai Girls
Lisa See
336 pgs.
Random House

Amazon Blurb -

See (Peony in Love) explores tradition, the ravages of war and the importance of family in her excellent latest. Pearl and her younger sister, May, enjoy an upper-crust life in 1930s Shanghai, until their father reveals that his gambling habit has decimated the family's finances and to make good on his debts, he has sold both girls to a wealthy Chinese-American as wives for his sons. Pearl and May have no intention of leaving home, but after Japanese bombs and soldiers ravage their city and both their parents disappear, the sisters head for California, where their husbands-to-be live and where it soon becomes apparent that one of them is hiding a secret that will alter each of their fates. As they adjust to marriage with strangers and the challenges of living in a foreign land, Pearl and May learn that long-established customs can provide comfort in unbearable times. See's skillful plotting and richly drawn characters immediately draw in the reader, covering 20 years of love, loss, heartbreak and joy while delivering a sobering history lesson. While the ending is ambiguous, this is an accomplished and absorbing novel.

I didn't want to read this book, I've read Snowflower And The Secret Fan from See, and while it was very good, her books are steeped in sorrow, tragedy and heartbreak.  This was no different.  Now, don't get me wrong, it was a very good book, but it was sad, sad, sad.  I really don't like reading such downers, but hey that's what a book club is about, reading stuff you normally wouldn't.  I don't want to discourage others from this novel, the characters were rich, their personalities so tangible.  I like Pearl, her sister May drove me nuts!  Their family was interesting and I found myself amazed at the culture's ways.  Lisa See does a wonderful job bringing you there with them.

While the girls were in China, you get such a great picture of life there, how different they think from Westerners, when they came here, you hurt for their ostracized life and the prejudices.  If you love historical novels steeped in fact, and can take heartache, this one is for you.

3 1/2 cannolis

Authors By The Alphabet Q-n-A

Just wanted to to give a heads up, the q-n-a is coming up in the next couple of days, if you can get them on your blog Christine that would be great :)  We can find Christine and the ?'s here - The Happily Ever After

Julie, I believe you're up next to choose and host, so if you can pick our D author I know we won't be disappointed!

This months book -

Bet Me
Bet Me
Jennifer Crusie
432 pgs
St. Martins Paperback


Once Christine post's the ?'s, I'll put the direct link on this post, so come back and check for it :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mary Higgins Clark Challenge

This challenge is being hosted by my challenge buddy and enabler, Marce on her blog, Tea Time With Marce.  Click on her blog title to go right to the sign up page.  It is running till August 11 and there are different levels of participation so you can choose what works best for you!

I chose to read 6, and I don't know which books I'll read yet.  I'll be coming back here to link up my reviews with the books.

Books Read -

  1. A Cry In The Night

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Wrap Up

Lucky for me that picture is not a reality for my neck of the woods :)

January was a great reading month.  My book-club books were really good choices and for both, I think everyone liked them and had really similar thoughts on them.  I finished up my James Patterson Challenge with Don't Blink. A cute surprise was Zen And The Art Of Vampires by Katie MacAlister.  It was really light, but I liked Pia and Kristoff, and I felt really bad for Pia.

This month I  have some good reading coming.  I have 2 ARC's from 2 authors who I will be hosting in March for some Q-n-A's.  One is Jonathan Hayes who's Precious Blood I read and really liked.  He commented on my and Hubby's reviews.  Hubs is reading Hard Death and is almost finished,  he loves the protagonist Dr. Edward Jenner, I'm excited to read it as well, and have the Dr. here to answer some ?'s  You can read both reviews and the author's comments *here* and *here*.  I haven't read any of Jon Merz yet, but I have The Kensei: A Lawson Vampire Novel all ready to go.  I also have The Invoker which is the same character, though Jon has said this latest novel is a stand alone and I don't need to read the 1st ones to know what's happening.  Lawson is the main character and he is sort of a James Bond type but a vamp.  These will be my first time hosting authors and I can't wait.

I'm not that excited about reading Shanghai Girls for one of my book clubs to be honest, but the point of being in a book club is to read what you normally wouldn't and maybe get pleasantly surprised, the other bcc, Bet Me has me real happy and I want to read that one!!

What am I reading now?  This -

Mozart's Blood
Mozart's Blood
Louise Marley
400 pgs.
Kindle Edition

I love Opera.  Some really hate it, but I love the music.  This is steeped in that life, right now it's still a little slow but I'm hoping it's going to pick up.  The ratings it got were all 4 and 5 stars so we shall see.  The good thing, I got it as a freebie on Kindle ;)  Gotta love the Kindle!

Happy Reading!

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